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Katelyn Swanson, the daughter of Josh and Nicki Swanson, poses Saturday for a photo with Darlene Bratberg of Atwater. Bratberg was dressed as a clown for Kids Day at the Kandiyohi County Fair in Willmar. Tribune photo by Eric Ludy

Another year comes to a close for the Kandiyohi County Fair: A day for the kids

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News Willmar,Minnesota 56201 http://www.wctrib.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/1/1130/20090810081009monfair3.jpg?itok=edQVLoVE
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Another year comes to a close for the Kandiyohi County Fair: A day for the kids
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

With a morning thunderstorm on Friday causing the cancellation of the popular Pickup, Tractor and Semi Pull and creating muddy conditions through Saturday, the 2009 Kandiyohi County Fair could have gone better, said fair board president Tom Gustafson.

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But still, it wasn't all bad.

Senior Day at the fair on Thursday was a record day in many respects. Over 650 pork chops on a stick were consumed in under two hours, and the sweet corn feed went through 2,400 ears of corn, likely the most ever. Hundreds came out to see the Kingery Family and Monroe Crossing.

And the fair's final night saw a resurgence over Friday, said Gustafson.

"We're getting a nice crowd here tonight," he said on Saturday, as he sat with a crowd of people out to see the headlining act the Whitesidewalls.

Gustafson said when all was said and done, he hoped the fair offered people a good entertainment value. He said he was grateful to all who had come out to support the fair and for coping with the tight space of the fairgrounds.

"We're just very grateful to the community," he said.

It was children's day at the fair on Saturday.

Darlene Bratberg of Atwater was decked out in a clown outfit on Saturday afternoon. She said she was only scheduled to be at the fairgrounds for a few hours, but never found the time or inclination to leave with so many children coming up to her throughout the day.

"I forgot to eat until a quarter to three," she said.

Bratberg said her husband had died six months before, so being around smiling children was almost therapeutic. "This sort of give me a lift," she said, wiping away tears.

Katelyn Swanson, the daughter of Josh and Nicki Swanson, sat on Bratberg's lap for a photo on Saturday. She was there with her grandparents, Barb and Dr. Tim Swanson, who had children coming to them all day as well.

"He's a pediatrician," said Barb of her husband, "so a lot of kids were saying 'hi.'"

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